If you are a journalist and you have a press enquiry or interview request about YMCA Exeter, please contact Lucy Pieterse on 01392 410530 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or email lucy.pieterse@ymcaexeter.org.uk.

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    Media clips

    • North Devon Gazette July 2023

    Devon ‘can’t afford’ to help prevent people becoming homeless

    • Sidmouth Herald July 2023

    Devon ‘can’t afford’ contributions homelessness prevention projects

    • Totnes Times July 2023

    Devon County Council Funding Cuts.

    • ITV Westcountry July 2023

    Arctic Row Team setting off

    • Lancashire Telegraph July 2023

    The Arctic Row Team.

    • ITV Westcountry July 2023

    Arctic Row Delay. 

    • BBC Radio Devon June 2023

    Arctic Row Blessing at Exeter Cathedral.

    • Devon Live June 2023

    Devon County Council Funding Cuts

    • ITV Westcountry June 2023

    Devon County Council Funding Cuts

    • BBC Spotlight June 2023

    Devon County Council Funding Cuts

    • ITV Westcountry June 2023

    The Arctic Row team in Plymouth.

    • Guardian June 2023

    New NHS plans amid budget cuts

    • BBC Radio Devon May 2023

    Arctic Row Interview at Devon County Council.

    • Radio Exe May 2023:

    Bishop of Exeter retiring

    • Ivybridge Today May 2023:

    Bishop of Exeter announces retirement

    • Devon Live May 2023:

    YMCA Exeter image used of Phil Bialyk for ECC story

    • Big Issue Magazine April 2023:

    Councils cutting funding 

    • Ivybridge Today April 2023

    Homeless forum calling on Devon MP’s

    • Big Issue Magazine April 2023:

    Devon Council Funding Cuts

    • BBC Spotlight April 2023:

    Devon MPs asked to raise homelessness cuts. 

    • Radio Exe April 2023:

    Appeal for more cash for the homeless.

    • ITV Westcountry March 2023:

    Funding Cuts.

    • Radio Exe March 2023:

    Funding Cuts

    • BBC News March 2023:

    Funding Cuts

    • ITV News March 2023

    Funding Cuts

    • Devon Live March 2023

    Funding Cuts

    • Devon Live March 2023

    Funding Cuts

    • BBC Radio Devon February 2023

    Funding Cuts, and interviewing a resident.

    • BBC Radio Spotlight February 2023

    Funding Cuts


    News and information

    If you are looking for the latest YMCA Exeter news please visit our latest news page.

    Media Clips 2021.

    Media Clips 2022.

    Find the answers to our most commonly asked questions:


    We support young people and communities so that they can experience fullness of life in body, mind and spirit.
    That means we are committed to seeing communities becoming a place of love, joy, peace and hope; places where young people can become everything they were created to be. And central to all our practical work is our Christian faith.

    YMCA Exeter is a Christian charity. We are part of the YMCA federation which is made up of 116 local YMCA’s across England and Wales. We all work independently to support young people, children and local communities.

    YMCA Exeter is one of the oldest YMCAs in the world, founded in 1846. Our story begins with local Exeter philanthropist John Dinham, who caught the vision of the national YMCA movement and was passionate about creating an Exeter expression. The very first meeting was held in Gandy Street and our vision remains the same as during that mid-Victorian era, to share God’s love whilst practically responding to changes in social, economical and cultural contexts.

    We offer a variety of services, each tailored to supporting young people, children and families in our community.

    • Supported accommodation and Support and Advice:

    We have over 100 homeless young people a year, coming to stay in our supported accommodation. Some stay for a few months, some for a few years. Each resident is given the time they need to journey with us.

    We have three stages of accommodation across the city where young people can become part of a family.

    • Stage 1 is a 31 bedroom residential centre in St David’s Hill and is the entry point for all young people
    • Stage 2 is a set of four shared houses in Newcourt, near Ikea and the Sandy Park Stadium
    • Stage 3 is currently six, two bed shared homes in Exwick.
    • Stage 4 is 26 affordable, self contained studio flats in the centre of Exeter.

    Each stage offers a varying degree of one to one and peer support and give young people, between the ages of 18-29, the opportunity to make a fresh start. We can also accommodate 16-17 year olds via a referral through Social Services.

    There isn’t really a set time that young people can live at the YMCA, some stay with us for one year, others for several years as they move through our stages of accommodation before finding a permanent home of their own.

    Our accommodation is specifically for young people who are coming out of homelessness and would like the support of a loving community to move forward. Some of our residents have been sleeping rough and others may have been sofa surfing or living in a tent or car. YMCA isn’t just a place to stay though. Our Link Workers support residents during their stay at YMCA so they can develop their own potential in body, mind and spirit. These areas include:

    • finding a GP
    • counselling
    • employment advice
    • emotional & physical wellbeing
    • managing debt
    • money advice
    • managing disabilities
    • maintaining accommodation
    • Children and youth services

    Through Open Access Clubs we provide safe spaces where children and young people feel valued and we equip them with the tools they need to thrive.

    From sports and games, to arts, crafts and residentials, we strive to inspire each young person to play a positive role in benefitting their local community. We also have informative conversations about mental health, drugs & alcohol, sex, crime, racism, money, employment, education, social media, and world issue and young people can have one to ones if they want to talk about things they are struggling with.

    • Mental health and wellbeing projects

    Did you know that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year? Even closer to home, 87% of our young people at YMCA Exeter recently told us they struggle with self-harm, depression and anxiety.

    Mental health intervention is crucial for young people to thrive.

    At YMCA Exeter we are committed to helping children and young people build resilience so they can cope during mental health challenges and experience fullness of life in the future. Across our projects, including supported accommodation, youth and schools work, and work with offenders, we increasingly do this by running mental health activities that improve our day to day wellbeing, develop our support networks and bring individuals out of crisis.

    Our Resilience Project is enhancing the mental health and wellbeing support we can offer for children and young people in Exeter and East Devon. By enabling children and young people to build their personal resilience at the earliest possible stage we are ensuring they all have the utmost ability to thrive in adult life.

    Resilience uses four keys ways to support mental health and wellbeing:

    • Social prescribing: Giving people time, focusing on ‘what matters to me’ and connecting them to existing community groups for practical and emotional support. This is delivered in partnership with Wellbeing Exeter.
    • Targeted short-term clinical intervention: CBT and evidence-based interventions for mild to moderate anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties. This is delivered in partnership with the University of Exeter.
    • Therapeutic activities: Including horticulture; counselling; music; movement and art as a means of resolving problematic behaviours, issues, beliefs and feelings.

    There are some really simple steps we can all do to improve our mental wellbeing and feel more positive about life. The NHS call them the ‘5 steps to mental wellbeing’ and we recommend giving each of them a try.

    • Connect – Meet up regularly with people in your life. They could be your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spending time developing these relationships is a great first step.
    • Be active – Walk, run, dance, cycle, boogie… Whatever your choice, staying active and exercising will increase your endorphins and make you feel good.
    • Keep learning – Learn new skills, rediscover old hobbies and trying new things will give you a real sense of achievement and boost your confidence.
    • Give to others – Putting other people before yourself can be incredibly rewarding. Whether a smile, a kind word or a volunteering commitment supporting your community can be incredibly rewarding.
    • Be mindful – Take notice of what is happening around you. Noticing your personal thoughts and feelings as well as those things surrounding you in nature can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
    • If you are struggling with your mental health and don’t feel you can get through the night alone, call 999 or take yourself to your local A&E.
    • If you are struggling and don’t feel you can get through the next 24 hours, then contact your GP or go to A&E.
    • If you are feeling suicidal or you are worried about someone else, then contact your GP or call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 anytime, 24/7.

    Other useful places that give a listening ear are:

    • 1-2-1 online counsellor chat run by Childline for children and young people up to the age of 19
    • Out of hours mental health support for anyone aged 16+ at The Moorings, Devon (available in Exeter, Barnstaple and Torquay)
    • For adults, YOUNGMINDS offers confidential online and telephone support to anyone worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25. The helpline is 0808 8025544 and is open Monday – Friday, 9am – 4:30pm

    Our Christian faith is central to our work. We support young people and communities of all faiths and none. Who we support is not dependent on belief.

    • We actively look for opportunities to make a transformative impact on young lives in the communities where we work, and believe that every person is of
      equal value.
    • We offer people the space they need to feel secure, respected, heard and valued; and we always protect, trust, hope and persevere.
    • We strive to inspire each person we meet to nurture their body, mind and spirit and to realise their full potential in all they do.
    • We stand up for young people, speak out on issues that affect their lives and help them to find confidence in their own voice.
    • We are committed to the wellbeing of the communities we serve and believe in the positive benefit of participation, locally and in the wider world.

    Our Christian faith is the essence of who we are and the young people and communities we support are aware of our faith distinctive.

    • We believe God deeply cares about us, our work and those we serve, so we trust him and prayerfully seek his help in all we do.
    • We do all we can in God’s strength, challenging injustice and overcoming obstacles to bring positive change in the communities we serve.
    • We seek to provide the best possible service in every aspect of our work.
    • We treat our clients and the way we behave towards each other in an attitude of compassion and service.
    • We are committed to truthfulness, honesty, transparency and accountability in everything we do